Why We Crave Bad Foods

Most of us have certain food cravings, and for some of us, those cravings can be frequent and incredibly strong. Scientists have determined that there is a biological basis for food cravings, so those cravings may be next to impossible to avoid. First of all, our prehistoric ancestors had to deal with a very limited supply of calorie dense food because they had to hunt for it. They constantly dealt with a feast or famine lifestyle, a stark contrast to modern times, in which plenty of food is readily available.

Programmed To Crave

The prehistoric human brain would respond to a sudden caloric intake by releasing serotonin and dopamine, both of which created a sense of well-being. This release of brain chemicals also occurs in modern humans. In addition, meals which are high in fat and sugar result in decreased production of stress-related hormones.

The bottom line is that our brains are programmed to crave and seek foods which are high in calories, fat, carbs and salt, just like our ancestors, who rarely had meat protein, and only after a successful hunt. It’s no surprise that fatty, caloric foods are associated with feelings of contentment, especially since we tend to have more cravings when we are anxious or under stress.

According to research from the Monell Chemical Senses Center, three regions of the brain (hippocampus, caudate and insula) light up when a subject craves a certain food. In another study, by Adam Drewnowski, PhD, when pleasure-sensing opiate receptors in the brain were blocked, subjects no longer craved sugary or high fat foods.

How To Control Cravings

Though carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap in recent years, it is the combination of carbohydrates with fat and salt that appears to be the winning combination for foods which spark cravings. Prime examples are pizza, French fries, and macaroni and cheese.

Individuals who have a greater degree of willpower are usually best off with having a small serving of the food they crave, which satisfies the craving. However, some people lack the ability to control the desire to indulge in cravings, and tend to binge on decadent foods. In such cases, the best thing to do is to avoid stocking those foods entirely.

Hormone Roller Coaster (repost)

anxious_woman

Oh, to be a woman. We are blessed with goddess energy and are also capable of being strong and muscular while holding onto our femininity. But with our female distinction we also have hormonal fluctuations which can wreak havoc on our health and our moods. It can be a tricky thing to keep estrogen and progesterone levels balanced consistently, especially for those of us who compete. Estrogen imbalance can also bring about early menopause, premenstrual symptoms, menstrual irregularities, and skin issues.

Women who practice a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep and stress management have the best chance of keeping their hormones in balance throughout their cycles. Overly processed foods, especially refined sugars, should be avoided. Strength training is also an excellent way of regulating estrogen levels in the body. However, I realize that the majority of you who are reading this are already on board with clean eating and weight training, but may still struggle with mood swings, food cravings, menstrual irregularities, and menstrual cramps.

Here are some tips on how to combat mood swings and food cravings which may emerge each month. These supplements will not affect contest prep, and may actually equip you with the best chance of staying on track even during THAT time of the month.

MOOD SWINGS: I am a big fan of the B vitamins because they are proven to reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, I make sure that all of my patients who suffer from depression and anxiety take a B-complex supplement to regulate their mood. It is also a good idea to take magnesium glycinate to restore the magnesium that is depleted during times of stress. Start with 250 milligrams daily, then increase to three times daily with meals. If you get drowsy or have frequent bowel movements, decrease your dose down to once or twice per day.

FOOD CRAVINGS: One of the reasons why women tend to crave chocolate around that special time of the month is because they are often deficient in magnesium, which is found in high amounts in chocolate. For this reason, I suggest taking magnesium glycinate(as stated before) to normalize magnesium levels in the body. Dosage parameters are the same, but if you prefer, you can take magnesium for two weeks at a time, starting a week before your period and ending a week after you get your period.

Another great supplement to take for food cravings is alpha lipoic acid. Take 100 milligrams three times daily. If you really get slugged with strong food cravings before flow visits, add chromium picolinate (200 micrograms three times daily) and vanadyl sulfate (10 milligrams three times daily) to your regimen.

Hormone Roller Coaster

Originally published on RxGirl on Tuesday, 09 April 2013
lady-eating-chocolate
http://www.rxmuscle.com/rx-girl-articles/7895-hormone-roller-coaster.html

Oh, to be a woman. We are blessed with goddess energy and are also capable of being strong and muscular while holding onto our femininity. But with our female distinction we also have hormonal fluctuations which can wreak havoc on our health and our moods. It can be a tricky thing to keep estrogen and progesterone levels balanced consistently, especially for those of us who compete. Estrogen imbalance can also bring about early menopause, premenstrual symptoms, menstrual irregularities, and skin issues.

Women who practice a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep and stress management have the best chance of keeping their hormones in balance throughout their cycles. Overly processed foods, especially refined sugars, should be avoided. Strength training is also an excellent way of regulating estrogen levels in the body. However, I realize that the majority of you who are reading this are already on board with clean eating and weight training, but may still struggle with mood swings, food cravings, menstrual irregularities, and menstrual cramps.

Here are some tips on how to combat mood swings and food cravings which may emerge each month. These supplements will not affect contest prep, and may actually equip you with the best chance of staying on track even during THAT time of the month.

MOOD SWINGS: I am a big fan of the B vitamins because they are proven to reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, I make sure that all of my patients who suffer from depression and anxiety take a B-complex supplement to regulate their mood. It is also a good idea to take magnesium glycinate to restore the magnesium that is depleted during times of stress. Start with 250 milligrams daily, then increase to three times daily with meals. If you get drowsy or have frequent bowel movements, decrease your dose down to once or twice per day.

FOOD CRAVINGS: One of the reasons why women tend to crave chocolate around that special time of the month is because they are often deficient in magnesium, which is found in high amounts in chocolate. For this reason, I suggest taking magnesium glycinate(as stated before) to normalize magnesium levels in the body. Dosage parameters are the same, but if you prefer, you can take magnesium for two weeks at a time, starting a week before your period and ending a week after you get your period.

Another great supplement to take for food cravings is alpha lipoic acid. Take 100 milligrams three times daily. If you really get slugged with strong food cravings before flow visits, add chromium picolinate (200 micrograms three times daily) and vanadyl sulfate (10 milligrams three times daily) to your regimen.